Constipated with Rocks

Chippychap

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Anyone had a constipated tortoise from eating rocks? Noticed my desert tortoise's back legs giving out while walking. Took him to vet and got x-ray and found rocks and backed up fecal matter in digestive tract. Worried about outcome.
 

Yvonne G

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Feed very wet foods, like aloe, cucumber, watermelon, cactus and anything edible that might cause loose stools. Spread mineral oil on a leaf of romaine, roll it up tightly and hand feed it to him. Cautionary note: never put mineral oil all by itself into a tortoise's mouth. The tortoise won't feel it and could possibly inhale it. Suck a little mineral oil into a dropper and squirt it into the cloaca.

Mineral oil is non-absorptive but rather, coats items in the digestive tract and makes them easier to pass.
 

Chippychap

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Thank you. I will try what you suggested. The vet gave us some lactulose to administer and wants us to shake him for 15 to 20 minutes. Even suggested taping a vibrator to his abdomen to help break up blockage. Again many thanks.
 

Coco Channell

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I saw my desert tortoise eating rocks too. Must be something they do. Good luck with your baby I finally got a deep water tub that mine can't crawl out of so she's getting longer soaks.
 

ascott

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Thank you. I will try what you suggested. The vet gave us some lactulose to administer and wants us to shake him for 15 to 20 minutes. Even suggested taping a vibrator to his abdomen to help break up blockage. Again many thanks.
In addition to what Yvonne said, long long looonnggg warm water soaks (like an hour +) a few times a day....I would caution on how you "shake" the tortoise, that is super invasive and can cause stress with negative outcome....if you can encourage the tort to be super mobile, that will also help.....slippery food, long soaks and a long walk in the yard. Also, when you feed the tortoise, you will want to do so on a rock free spot....and their food will have rocks and debris stuck to it when they ingest it....if there is a rock garden or the like in the tortoise yard, i would remove that source.....

Also, as long as the tort is still wanting to eat then you have a good chance to get all moved through....along with the other advice....how old/large is the tortoise?
 

Tom

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Must be something they do.
Its something they do when not fed correctly, over supplemented, or when there is a mineral imbalance.

What do you normally feed your tortoise, and what is your supplementation routine?
 

Chippychap

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In addition to what Yvonne said, long long looonnggg warm water soaks (like an hour +) a few times a day....I would caution on how you "shake" the tortoise, that is super invasive and can cause stress with negative outcome....if you can encourage the tort to be super mobile, that will also help.....slippery food, long soaks and a long walk in the yard. Also, when you feed the tortoise, you will want to do so on a rock free spot....and their food will have rocks and debris stuck to it when they ingest it....if there is a rock garden or the like in the tortoise yard, i would remove that source.....

Also, as long as the tort is still wanting to eat then you have a good chance to get all moved through....along with the other advice....how old/large is the tortoise?
Hi. He is 24 and weighs 9.4lbs. He still has a good appetite. At this time only eating moist red leaf,romaine lettuces and watermelon till he passes rocks. Always feeds on a paper plate his entire life. Had him since baby. Passed some sandy gravel today. But still has blockage.
My wife saw what looked like a hard black mass trying to come out of rectum. It popped back in. I would assume it's part fecal and small stones clumped. Had I been there I would have gently tried to assist it out.
I soak him daily. Warm water. The shaking is not violent. More of a vibration to help break up impaction. Pulled him in a wagon as well over a rough surface as recommended by vet again nothing violent.

Thank you for info and help.

Thank you for your response.
In addition to what Yvonne said, long long looonnggg warm water soaks (like an hour +) a few times a day....I would caution on how you "shake" the tortoise, that is super invasive and can cause stress with negative outcome....if you can encourage the tort to be super mobile, that will also help.....slippery food, long soaks and a long walk in the yard. Also, when you feed the tortoise, you will want to do so on a rock free spot....and their food will have rocks and debris stuck to it when they ingest it....if there is a rock garden or the like in the tortoise yard, i would remove that source.....

Also, as long as the tort is still wanting to eat then you have a good chance to get all moved through....along with the other advice....how old/large is the tortoise?
IMG_0400.jpg
 

ascott

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Hi. He is 24 and weighs 9.4lbs. He still has a good appetite. At this time only eating moist red leaf,romaine lettuces and watermelon till he passes rocks. Always feeds on a paper plate his entire life. Had him since baby. Passed some sandy gravel today. But still has blockage.
My wife saw what looked like a hard black mass trying to come out of rectum. It popped back in. I would assume it's part fecal and small stones clumped. Had I been there I would have gently tried to assist it out.
I soak him daily. Warm water. The shaking is not violent. More of a vibration to help break up impaction. Pulled him in a wagon as well over a rough surface as recommended by vet again nothing violent.

Thank you for info and help.

Thank you for your response.

View attachment 278838
Super long long long soaks are super helpful and will offer up results :)
 

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